Aïchatou Boulama Kané: An Advocate for Women Empowerment

a Nigerien politician and the country's ambassador to France

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Aïchatou Boulama Kané is a Nigerien politician and the country’s ambassador to France.  A dedicated advocate for women’s empowerment and an economist. she also serves as International Member of the Board of Governors of the World bank.

Background and Early Life

Born on April 24, 1953, in Keita, Niger, to a humble family, Aïchatou Boulama Kané was the eldest daughter among 16 siblings. Raised by hardworking parents, her father served as her primary inspiration, driving her to excel in everything she pursued. She recognized that success carried a responsibility to support her extensive family, motivating her to double her efforts, which ultimately paid off. Her leadership qualities were evident from a young age.

Aïchatou attended Mainé-Soroa for her primary education from 1961 to 1967 and earned a Baccalauréat série D (equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma) in 1974 from Lycée Mariama in Niamey. Her educational journey was far from easy, as she was the sole female student in attendance, yet her determination prevailed.

Upon completing high school, secured a scholarship to the University of Rennes, where she obtained an economics degree in 1979. She continued her academic journey at Pantheon-Sorbonne University, earning a diploma of Specialized Studies. Kané is married to Kane Souleymane, a presidential adviser, and they have three children.

Her journey with SAFEM

Aïchatou Boulama Kané embarked on her government service career in 1983, returning to Niger after her studies. She made significant contributions to the Ministry of Mines, Industry, and Artisan, playing a pivotal role in enhancing its operations and success. Her dedication to women’s representation led her to lead the May 13 protest against the underrepresentation of women in the National Conference, a milestone that resulted in the establishment of Nigerien Women Day on May 13.

In 1991, the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism elected her as a member to the National Sovereign Conference. She displayed an unwavering commitment to advancing the status of African women. In 1993, she was appointed the Secretary of State for Planning, actively striving to promote the upward mobility of African women.

In 2000, she took on the role of Coordinator of the International Exhibition of Crafts for Women (SAFEM). SAFEM initiative aims to promote handicrafts made by women, for women, and to provide Niger, rich in handicrafts, with a platform for promoting African handicrafts. Over the years, SAFEM evolved into one of the continent’s largest projects. In 2005, SAFEM became a government agency and later, in 2007, transformed into an independent agency. Throughout its six editions, SAFEM has benefitted at least 1000 women.

Road to diplomacy

Aïchatou Kané Boulama continued to ascend through the ranks, securing successive appointments in various ministries.

The Council of Ministers appointed her as the Governor of Niamey in 2011. She served for two years before assuming the position of Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s office. In 2015, Kané served as Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and later, in 2016, as Minister of Planning.

Aïchatou Boulama Kané was appointed as Niger’s ambassador to France In September 2021.  A role she steadfastly retained despite The coup in 2023 and pressure from the junta.

A Fitting end

Kane’s story is one of those that instills hope in the hearts of the hopeful. Her journey is an inspiration for anyone who believes that dreams can come true, even when circumstances seem challenging

 

 

 

 

 

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